A key Republican donor has split with his party on the issue of marriage equality and has criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s opposition on the issue.
Billionaire industrialist David Koch, who is an official delegate at the Republican National Convention, told Politico that he disagreed with his party’s opposition to same-sex marriage and believed the US Government needed to be able to consider to raise taxes to balance its budget in another break from Republican Party orthodoxy.
Koch told Politico, ‘I believe in gay marriage.’
David Koch and his brother Charles Koch are behind one of the chief SuperPAC funds funding third party pro-Republican ad campaigns in this year’s US Presidential Elections and are expected to spend as much as $400 million trying to get Mitt Romney elected president.
The Republican Party recently approved a platform defining marriage as ‘a union of one man and one woman’ and endorsed the keeping of the federal Defense of Marriage Act which the Obama Administration is refusing to defend in court and which bans federal benefits going to same-sex couples.
When told of Koch’s support on the issue, Romney told Politico, ‘I disagree with that.’
In 1994 during his unsuccessful senate bid against Democrat Ted Kennedy, Romney pledged to outdo Democrats in providing domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and pledged to support laws protecting LGBTs from discrimination in the work place.
‘I will support and endorse efforts to provide those domestic partnership benefits to gay and lesbian couples,’ Romney said in 1998.
However he has touted an increasingly socially conservative agenda in his runs for the White House, and now says he opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions for gay couples.
The Koch brother’s Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in the US and David Koch is the second richest resident of New York City.
Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate alongside Ed Clark in 1980.
Koch is estimated to hold a personal fortune of over $14 billion.